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London fintech business WorldRemit valued at close to £500 million as it raises $40 million

DATE POSTED:December 7, 2017

ismail ahmed worldremit

  • WorldRemit raises $40 million (£29.7 million) "Series C" from LeapFrog Investments, Accel Partners, and Technology Crossover Ventures.
  • The money will be put towards global expansion, with WorldRemit targeting 10 million customers by 2020.

LONDON — Mobile money transfer service WorldRemit has raised $40 million (£29.7 million) from LeapFrog Investments and existing investors Accel Partners and Technology Crossover Ventures.

WorldRemit announced the "Series C" fundraising on Thursday. It takes the total raised by the London-headquartered company to $220 million (£163.8 million).

Sources close to the deal said WorldRemit was valued at just under £500 million in the round, almost 50% more than its last valuation in 2015, which was £330 million.

The investment underscores the continued momentum of Britain's fintech industry despite the economic uncertainty caused by Brexit negotiations. Other notable investment's this year include a $280 million (£208.5 million) investment in online money transfer business TransferWise last month, a $66 million (£49.1 million) funding round for digital banking service Revolut in July, and a $100 million (£74.7 million) investment in online lending platform Funding Circle in January.

Founded in 2010 by a former anti-money laundering advisor to the UN, WorldRemit specialises in digital remittances — money sent by migrants to family overseas. These payments tend to be small and regular and WorldRemit has developed the technology to send the cash via people's mobiles.

WorldRemit currently operates in 50 "send" countries, with money being transferred to 148 other countries. 5.4 million remittances were made over its network last year.

Stewart Langdon, a partner at LeapFrog Investments, said in a release: "WorldRemit’s model is uniquely suited to scale and offers a best in class service that is vital to the livelihood of millions of consumers in LeapFrog’s core markets."

LeapFrog specialises in investing in financial services and healthcare businesses that target Africa and Asia. (BI has previously written about another LeapFrog company, BIMA.)

Langdon said of WorldRemit: "The company also has a huge potential to expand globally – a combination that puts it at the heart of our profit with purpose philosophy. I’m delighted that a world-class fintech company like WorldRemit is choosing LeapFrog as its partner for growth in the emerging markets."

WorldRemit said in its statement announcing the fundraise that the money will go towards growing its customer to a target 10 million by 2020. It did not disclose how many customers it has today.

Ismail Ahmed, founder and CEO at WorldRemit, said in a statement: "This new funding will fuel our growth, and help bring our service to millions more customers across the globe. We are pleased to attract a strategic investor whose profit with a purpose mission is aligned with ours."

WorldRemit lost £15.3 million ($20.5 million) on revenues of £41.1 million ($55.1 million) last year.

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